Top level talk in Canberra says that the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, Peter Shergold, has set a new post election course.

Crikey understands that Shergold was not planning to stay on in the public service’s top job, regardless of the election outcome. Crikey also hears that Shergold is a contender for the Vice-Chancellor’s job at one of our spiffiest sandstones, Sydney University. In a cute coincidence the incumbent, Professor Gavin Brown, has been there since 1996.

It’s nice work if you can get it. The Australian reported in July that Brown earned over $700,000 last year. Add that Shergold’s public service pension entitlements, and a relaxed and comfortable future would look almost certain.

Shergold’s comfort will be enhanced by the Government Transition to Retirement Super changes that gave high income earners an even greater reward for, er, thoughtful structuring of their working life and income after age 55.